Colyton Pharmacy manager set to retire after half a century

Christine Jones with her training certificate outside Colyton Pharmacy where she has worked for som

Christine Jones with her training certificate outside Colyton Pharmacy where she has worked for some 50 years.. Picture Chris Carson - Credit: Archant

The prescription for a long and happy career is a job at Colyton Pharmacy, says shop manager Christine Jones.

She is about to retire after working there for some 50 years.

It was her first and last job and she says she has enjoyed every minute of it.

She joined the pharmacy as a Saturday girl in the 1970s after leaving Axe Valley School at the age of 15.

Her first, of five employers, was John Richard Clarence Towse and her duties then included getting on her hands and knees to polish the floor, buffing up the scales which weighed out medicines and filling the paraffin stoves.

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She also had to clean up after the chiropodist and dentist who, at that time, shared the same premises, along with an optician.

She said working for an independent chemist shop was a big plus because they could be more ‘individual’ which customers appreciated. Over the years many regulars came in just for a chat.

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She said: “I know so many people - five generations of some families. I shall miss it but things have to come to an end.”

Mrs Jones, aged 65, whose husband Keith is a retired Colyton firefighter and former member of the parish council, said they had intended to travel more after her retirement, which is at the end of the month.

But lockdown restrictions has put that on hold for a while.

“Hopefully next year,” she said.

In the meantime Mrs Jones can concentrate on her hobbies which include gardening and making blankets and knitting fiddlemuffs for people with dementia. She is also a keen walker.

Colyton pharmacist Celso Farina told the Midweek Herald: “Christine has been working for Colyton Pharmacy for around 50 years. It was her first job and it will be her last one as well..

“I always felt very lucky to be able to learn from someone like Chris, how she treats our customers.

“She has always loved her job and after so many years our shoppers are going to miss her as well.”

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